What if Gun Restrictions Were Applied to Technology?

"What would be the public reaction if the government, claiming to prevent cybercrime or digital terrorism, required all citizens to undergo an FBI background check before acquiring or disposing of a computer? What if the transfer of any computer without government approval were a felony? And what if not passing the background check, for reasons the government was under no obligation to divulge, made computer possession a criminal act?"

Those are the questions posited by Allan Cors in an opinion piece for the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action that is an interesting thought experiment. He poses the hypothetical scenario of the government and politicians demanding computer owners pay the price for the acts of hackers to highlight what he sees as a fallacy of gun control laws.

"As with firearms, computers can be used for criminal and evil ends. Fraud. Dissemination of child pornography. Cyberbullying. Identity theft. And for life-or-death evil in our computer age, look no further than the sophisticated use of technology by ISIS to spread its horrific barbarism and recruit jihadists to fulfill their apocalyptic vision…" he writes.

He points out that, protecting against hacker attacks is a multi-billion-dollar business because the threats are real and destructive.

"Again, what if the media and politicians were demanding that all computer owners pay the price for the acts of hackers? Given that threat, anybody who owns a digital device would know that their liberty, their right to pursue happiness, is at stake. They wouldn't stand for it," he writes. "But that is exactly the senseless threat gun owners face in the states that billionaire Michael Bloomberg has targeted for ballot initiatives to criminalize all now-legal firearms transactions between law-abiding citizens with his deceit about 'universal' background checks."

"Making the innocent pay the price for the guilty when the guilty pay no price—that philosophy is at the very core of all gun-control schemes," he says. "For a peaceable person who owns a firearm, that concept is abundantly obvious. It is not obvious to non-gun owners, and that is the essence of Bloomberg's game plan."